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Mass social housing building needed, campaigners urge as house prices rocket 7.1 times annual average earnings

A MASS building programme of social housing is desperately needed, campaigners urged today after new figures showed that house prices were “rocketing” and reaching unaffordable levels.

Mortgage lender Halifax said that a “typical” UK home now costs 7.1 times annual average earnings.

It estimated that the “average earnings” of a full-time worker are £39,402, and the average house price is £239,281 — up 16.8 per cent since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The highest house prices were unsurprisingly found to be in London and south-east England, respectively 9.7 and 9.3 times average annual earnings, and the east and south-west of England — 8.5 and 8.4 times annual earnings.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the north of Ireland, Scotland and north-east were the least expensive.

National tenants’ union Acorn said the problem was forcing families into the hands of unscrupulous and exploitative private landlords.

Acorn Head Organiser Nick Ballard told the Star: “With fewer people able to buy a home, and having to pay much more for the privilege, families are being forced into an under-regulated, insecure private rented sector and facing poor standards and the fear of eviction.

“With the cost of living rising along with interest rates, many may be unable to keep up with the inflated mortgage payments that come with the high prices before long, but families are desperate to get on the housing ladder as it seems like the easiest route to security from eviction and the freedom to live how you please.”

He said a mass social housing building programme would provide high-quality housing for generations, immediately create good jobs and “end the supply problem and price spiral that is fuelling the housing crisis.”

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